Oude Molen Sustainable Neighbourhood

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Oude Molen as a living and learning example of a sustainably designed, mixed-use (residential, commercial, agricultural, educational, conservation) settlement with a socially integrated (richer, poorer, multi-cultural, and child-centred) community, setting the benchmark for other developments of ‘integrated sustainable human settlements’ in South Africa.

Sustainability Institute: Role and Function
On 18 August 2005, Professor Mark Swilling was appointed by the Department of Public Works: PGWC (represented by Mr. James Slabbert) to develop a Strategic Framework for taking the entire development planning process forward. On 15 November 2005, MEC Fransman announced in a press release that Cabinet (Western Cape) had formally adopted and endorsed this Strategic Framework for Oude Molen and confirmed the Sustainability Institute’s role to facilitate and project manage the planning and design process to the point of submission of the re-zoning application for approval by the City of Cape Town. The redevelopment planning and design process will be fully participatory driven by a multi-stakeholder group (to include the current villagers, the neighbouring Maitland Garden Village community, Traditional Leaders Forum, TRUP and others) and guided by a professional team of consultants and specialists. The professional team has been appointed by the DPW.

Oude Molen, owned by the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, provides a unique and extremely rare opportunity for implementing a wide range of Government policies effecting the national, provincial and local commitment to sustainable development. It is perfectly configured in both geographical and strategic terms to become a national icon and model for ‘integrated sustainable development’. To this extent it will demonstrate in practice how a ‘developmental state’ can use a state-owned asset to achieve this via coordination across different levels of government and across policy sectors.

Oude Molen was specifically referred to as a potential lead project by the stakeholders who attended and adopted the Sustainable Home for All – Now and Forever Declaration of Intent at the PGWC’s Sustainable Development Summit on 22 June 2005. At the same event, the PGWC adopted the following definition of sustainable development:
“For the Western Cape Province, sustainable development will be achieved through implementing integrated governance systems that promote economic growth in a manner that contributes to greater social equity and that maintains the ongoing capacity of the natural environment to provide the ecological goods and services upon which socio-economic development depends.” (Concept Paper on Sustainable Development: Towards the Development of a Sustainable Development Implementation Plan for the Western Cape, June 2005).